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On June 2nd, 2022, Sony had its highly anticipated State of Play. They showcased updates to existing games, brand new IPs that are yet to release, and follow-ups to already announced games. Among these, was the spiritual successor to Dead Space, one of gaming’s finest sci-fi survival horror experiences. That game is The Callisto Protocol. It was given a release date, alongside never before seen gameplay.

Set on Jupiter’s “dead moon” Callisto in 2320, The Callisto Protocol is the story of Jacob Lee, an inmate at Black Iron Prison who must fight for his life when a mysterious outbreak throws the moon into chaos. Prison guards and inmates are mutating into monstrous creatures called Biophage, and Jacob must battle to survive the horrors of Black Iron and uncover the dark secrets of the United Jupiter Company.

– Glen Schofield, CEO, Striking Distance Studios
Source: Striking Distance Studios

The Art of Horror

Schofield elaborates in a Blogpost about how the studio is approaching the development of The Callisto Protocol. He says that the team is utilizing a process they are calling “Horror Engineering.” He provides an example of how this process is handled in the following quotes:

It’s about blending atmosphere, tension, brutality, helplessness, and humanity to thrill players … and hopefully scare the crap out of them.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

Horror starts with atmosphere.  Callisto is an oppressive world that feels desolate, isolated, and puts players on edge. We spend a ton of time designing the lighting to create a sense of dread and keep players guessing about what’s in the shadows.

– Glen Schofield
Source: Striking Distance Studios

However, horror is not the only highlight The Callisto Protocol will feature. Schofield explains how there needs to be an aspect of humanity, therefore players need a character they can care about. All while experiencing an in-depth story that will keep you on the edge of your seat up until the very end. The Callisto Protocol will release on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & PC on December 2nd, 2022.

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